Jonny Evans has admitted that he does not expect to break into the Manchester United side in the near future.
The 20-year-old defender made his debut for United last season before being allowed to join Sunderland for a second loan spell in January.
Black Cats boss Roy Keane tried to secure a permanent deal for Evans over the summer but United were not willing to sell following the departure of Gerard Pique to Barcelona.
However, Evans accepts that at the moment he is just providing cover for some of the more senior players and he does not anticipate a busy season with the first team.
"I don't think I am going to play as much as I did last year," Evans told Sky Sports News.
"I think, being at Manchester United, I am probably going to have to wait on injuries and see how it goes.
"There are a lot of players who have been there for years and still haven't managed to get a regular place, but it's a great club and it's very hard to leave."
Northern Ireland aim
Evans is set to line up for Northern Ireland as they take on Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park on Wednesday.
Northern Ireland lost 2-1 in Slovakia in their opening game and Evans realises the importance of winning at home, regardless of the opposition, if they are to have any chance of making it through to the tournament in South Africa.
"It's still very early in the campaign but whenever you play at home you want to get a good result," he explained.
"People are saying a draw but it would still be nice to get three points."